Is Ghana in the center

Research college "Sustainable Governance" is being set up in Ghana

A new "Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Studies" will be built in Accra, Ghana. The Merian Centers are research colleges with which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research promotes long-term cooperation in the humanities and social sciences worldwide. After locations in Asia, South and North America, preparations are now also beginning for a college in Africa.

A network of the renowned University of Ghana together with German universities and research institutions has prevailed with its application on the subject of "Sustainable Governance". Partners in Germany are the universities of Freiburg, Frankfurt am Main and Konstanz as well as the GIGA-German Institute of Global and Area Studies and the German Historical Institute Paris of the Max Weber Foundation. The research college will deal with democratic governance, conflict management and sustainability transformation. The focus is on pressing research questions such as: What are the characteristics of African societies in which democratic structures endure? Why are states in sub-Saharan Africa in particular confronted with protracted, violent conflicts? How do these affect refugee and migration movements?

"The topic is not only important for Germany and Ghana, but also far beyond. It promises findings that are relevant for both international science and practical politics," said Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka. "Ghana is a country with high scientific potential and one of the core countries for our cooperation in West Africa. With the Merian Center we are now building a beacon in top research in the humanities and social sciences".

There are already numerous successful German university collaborations and projects with Ghanaian partners, particularly in the bioeconomy, mathematics and medicine. In addition to the main location for the Merian Center in Accra, a second location is to be built in Dakar, Senegal. In addition, workshops and summer schools are to take place in other African countries.

During the first phase, which is now beginning, the research programs for the college will be worked out in just under three years and the infrastructure will be built at the same time. After a positive evaluation, the BMBF will fund the research work of the college for a further six years. This can be followed by a three to four-year final phase - again depending on what has been achieved by then. Overall, the BMBF is funding a Maria Sibylla Merian Center for up to twelve years.

The new Center for Advanced Studies follows the "M. S. Merian - R. Tagore International Center for Advanced Studies" in Delhi, which started in July 2015. The preliminary phase of two Merian Centers in São Paulo, Brazil and Guadalajara, Mexico began in spring 2017.